There are two different models of how menes begin and end.
In the Standard Model there are two kinds of events. One kind of event marks the end of one mene, and a different kind of event marks the beginning of the next mene. Time may elapse between the end of one mene and the start of the next.
In the Dividing-Line Model there is a single kind of event that divides one mene from the other. That event marks both the end of the previous mene and the start of the next mene.
(1) A late-arriving player
Article 33 of the FIPJP rules says that when a player arrives late to the competition, he/she must wait until the start of the next mene before he/she may join the game. For many years the start of a mene was marked by the successful throw of the jack, but with the 2016 version of the FIPJP rules, “A mene is considered to have started when the jack has been thrown regardless of the validity of the throw.”
(2) The One-Minute Rule
Article 21 contains the One-Minute Rule.
Once the jack is thrown, each player has the maximum duration of one minute to play his boule. This short period of time starts from the moment that the previously played boule or jack stops or, if it is necessary to measure a point, from the moment the latter [the measurement] has been accomplished. … The same requirements apply to the throwing of the jack.
Article 21 never uses the expression “the end of the mene”, but it says, basically, that a mene ends with the agreement of points. The one-minute timer starts ticking at the moment that the points are agreed and the teams know which team should play next.
(3) Prematurely picked-up boules
Article 27 says, in effect, that a mene ends with the agreement of points.
“It is forbidden for players to pick up played boules before the end of the mene. At the end of a mene, any boule picked up before the agreement of points is dead.”
(4) Waiting for the end of the mene in another game
Article 13 says, in effect, that a mene ends with the agreement of points.
“If, during a mene, the jack is displaced onto another game terrain… the players using this jack will wait for the end of the mene that was started by the players on the other game terrain, before finishing their own mene.”
(5) In a time-limited game, the time-limit is announced
For the purpose of observing the time limits in time-limited games, competition organizers use a Dividing-Line Model, in which a specified event marks both the end of one mene and the start of the next. The time-limit is usually announced by the sound of a whistle or bell. Depending on the rules for the particular competition, players then finish the current mene and play one or two additional menes (with an additional mene in case of a tied score). There are two possible choices for the event that divides the menes. Both of these events have their roots in Article 21.
- The last boule of the mene finishes rolling and comes to a stop.
- The points are agreed.
The CEP (Eurocup) used the second option in 2015. “A new end will be considered as started as soon as the result of the previous end is known.” But the CEP rules have changed, so that the CEP now uses the first option. CEP’s April 2017 rules for time-limited Swiss System games says that “A new end is considered to have started as soon as the last boule from the previous end has been played (not when the jack has been thrown).”
The Petanque New Zealand umpire’s guide uses the first option. “When the time signal is sounded,… if all boules of the end have been played and have come to a stop… that end has finished, (regardless of measuring and deciding points)… [and] you have officially started the new end…” The PNZ umpire’s guide is clear that … “This rule applies only in timed games to determine how many ends remain to be played after the time signal is sounded. It is not used for any other purpose.”
The FIPJP rules consistently use the Standard Model, in which a mene ends with the agreement of points and the next mene begins with the throw of the jack. Once the points have been agreed, and it is clear which team should throw the jack to start the next mene, that team is allowed one minute to throw the jack. It is in that one minute that a late-arriving player may join the team.
The Dividing-line Model is used ONLY in time-limited games for the purposes of deciding whether a mene has ended or started when the time-limit is announced. In theory, different competitions may use different events to mark the dividing line, but the event that now seems to be universally used is the instant when the last boule of a mene finishes rolling and comes to a stop.